Fuss-free cheesecake is only a few simple steps away with this recipe for Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars!

Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars on white plate with cut lemon and more bars on a blue plate in background.

Cookie bars. Granola bars. S’mores bars. Pecan pie bars. You name the dessert and I have sliced and diced it into every bar shape possible. But cheesecake bars? This is a new one around here.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve indulged in the bar form of everyone’s favorite sweet and tangy cheese-turned-cake creation. But this recipe takes “easy” to a whole new level when it comes to whipping up these bad boys from scratch.

Crushed graham crackers in glass bowl with melted butter being poured on top.

It’s exactly everything you want of the classic dessert, sans the stress of a water bath, the potential of a cracked top, and fussing and fretting over texture that commonly accompanies making a stellar cheesecake.

We’re talking a 2-ingredient graham cracker crust that bakes up moist yet with just enough crunch. And on top? Allow this next photo to do all of the talking…

Lemon cheesecake mixture being poured over graham cracker crust in a aluminum foil lined square baking pan.

Creamy, creamy, creamy cheesecake filling! Six simple ingredients blended together into a slightly lemony yet definitely vanilla-y mixture that’s baked and then chilled to cheesecake perfection.

Best of all? These bars can be made a day in advance, stored in the fridge, and then sliced and topped when you’re ready to serve them. Opt for a dollop of whipped cream, a spoonful of fresh fruit, or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate. Sweet success indeed!

Square-cut Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars on white plate with cut lemon and more bars on a blue plate in background.
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Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Fuss-free cheesecake is only a few simple steps away with this recipe for Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars!
4.82 from 33 votes
Easy Lemon Cheesecake Bars on white plate with cut lemon and more bars on a blue plate in background.
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Servings 12 bars


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil then grease it with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and press it firmly into an even layer.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then pour the cheesecake mixture atop the crust, spreading it into an even layer.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 20 to 25 minutes until the center is almost set.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let them cool completely before covering the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerating the cheesecake for 3 hours.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the fridge, slice it into bars and serve. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

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Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 206mg, Potassium: 82mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 635IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 0.7mg

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  1. 2 stars
    I’m so sorry but I think there’s some adjustments that need to be made to this recipe. First, yes add brown sugar to the crust! Second, an 8×8 pan is too small. The center was still gooey even after refrigeration. And they are way too thick. Perhaps another egg? Also, I used 2 tblsp of zest & some lemon extract & they finally tasted lemony. This is a good start but this recipe needs some adjusting in my humble opinion.

  2. If I double or triple the recipe the size of the baking pan stays the same but the ingredients double or triple?

  3. 5 stars
    I made these and they are delicious! I’d like to double the recipe for a family gathering. Would I use a 9 X 13 pan and do I need to adjust the baking time?

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Lori! I haven’t tested this in a 13×9 so I’m not sure the exact baking time.

  4. Looks amazing and can’t wait to try for Friday night for a dessert after our lobster and pawn dinner I’m making my parents.

    What is that on top of your lemon bars?
    I see the zest, but curious on your white topping?

    1. Hi Patti! I prefer to line my baking dish with foil so that I can easily lift the bars out of the pan. Also, not using foil could cause the bars to stick.

    1. Hi there! I haven’t tried freezing these bars so I’m not certain how the texture/taste would be once thawed. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  5. 5 stars
    These lemon cheesecake bars are amazing. I do a different graham cracker crust. I find it prevent crumbling and its tastier. The only different it more butter so it sticks together more and some sugar.

    1. Hi. How much butter did you end up using? I want to make these tonight, and would love for the crust to stay together better! Thanks

  6. 5 stars
    These are so easy and so delicious! I added and beat in half a cup of fresh raspberries and about an ounce and a half of raspberry jam and it worked out so well. This recipe is one of the best things I’ve ever made.

  7. 4 stars
    I am in love! Maybe I did something wrong, but the crust doesn’t stick together–it just fell apart when I lifted the bars out.

    But seriously. This is amazing. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jessica! Did you press the crust firmly into the pan?

  8. 5 stars
    I checked out a number of recipes for lemon cheese bars, and choose this one for its ease. I used a combo of cream cheese and cherve. Next time I will add more lemon and zest . Thanks for a great day recipe.

      1. Hi Theresa! No, you do not bake the crust first – it all bakes together. :)

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for the 4th of July! So easy and delicious! Definitely will be making again. I must confess I did add more lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Appreciate a delicious easy recipe. Next time I’ll have to double it!!

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